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Sunshine on Your Plate

May 23, 1996|BEV BENNETT

The sun is dazzling. The daffodils you planted around the house are in full bloom and it's a Sunday morning. The setting is perfect for lemon pancakes--not ordinary flapjacks, but ethereal cakes, so light and delicate they'll float away if they aren't anchored with fresh strawberry sauce.

Unlike winter's rib-sticking pancakes made with whole grains, this version uses a ricotta cheese base folded into stiffly beaten egg whites. The inspiration comes from Marion Cunningham's "The Breakfast Book" (Alfred A. Knopf, 1987), which has a similar recipe using cottage cheese.

In her introduction to the recipe, Cunningham writes: "These pancakes will make you sit up and take notice." She's right.

A word of caution before beginning: The pancakes are very light and tender. Use a greased nonstick skillet and turn the pancakes gently.

LEMON PANCAKES WITH STRAWBERRY SAUCE

STRAWBERRY SAUCE

1 cup sliced strawberries

Grated peel of 1/2 orange

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

Combine strawberries, grated orange peel, sugar and Grand Marnier in glass bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.

LEMON PANCAKES

2 eggs, separated

3 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons butter, melted, plus extra for skillet

4 teaspoons sugar

Dash salt

Grated peel of 1 lemon

Whisk together egg yolks, flour, ricotta cheese, melted butter, sugar, salt and grated lemon peel. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into lemon batter.

Lightly coat bottom of 8- to 10-inch nonstick skillet with butter. Heat. Drop pancake batter by heaping tablespoonfuls to make 3-inch pancakes. These are very delicate. Gently turn pancakes over when brown around the edges, about 2 minutes. Cook second side 1 to 2 minutes or until light golden brown.

Divide pancakes between 2 plates. Serve strawberry sauce on the side.

Makes 7 to 8 pancakes or enough for 2 servings.

Each serving contains about:

469 calories; 410 mg sodium; 290 mg cholesterol; 31 grams fat; 32 grams carbohydrates; 15 grams protein; 0.42 gram fiber.

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